November 2, 2012, was a beautiful Friday in Kansas City—clear and cool and sunny. I had spent the afternoon reading in the library at an unaccredited college affiliated with the International House of Prayer, an evangelical Christian organization commonly referred to as IHOP (no relation to the restaurant). Around 6 pm, I got a call from my friend Hannah*.
“I found out something that’s truly devastating. I didn’t want to tell you this way, but I want you to know,” she said. “Bethany Leidlein committed suicide on Tuesday.”
I was shocked. For seven years, I had spent hours every day with Bethany, eating and talking and praying. We had been best friends. She was 27, newly married; she had just completed her nursing degree. I felt like she would always be part of my life.
Now, she was gone.